Times Cryptic 28574


Solving time: 58 minutes

I thought this was quite tough with the left side of the grid somewhat harder than the right. Having three triple definitions is a little unusual.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Fail to double  congregation (4)
Triple definition. A business may fold or fail. Double / fold in two. The members of a church may be described as its fold or congregation.
4 Place for trial run involving you no longer (10)
COURSE (run) containing THOU (‘you’ no longer)
9 One providing a walkover to settle game (10)
FOOT (settle e.g. a bill), BRIDGE (game)
10 A pop bottle a child holds (4)
Hidden in [holds] {bottl}E A CH{ild}. Collins gives this example:  30 million shares at 7 dollars a pop.
11 Instant   transfer  back (6)
Another triple definition. The first and third are very familiar but I had to think about the middle one because it needs to be pronounced ‘se-COND’ when meaning to transfer a person  to a temporary position. ‘On secondment’ may be more familiar.
12 Outside study, is sorry for son’s bad manners (8)
RUES (is sorry for) containing [outside] DEN (study), then S (son)
14 Post you’d not want in Cheltenham for one minute! (4)
SPA (Cheltenham for one), M (minute). Cheltenham is one example of a spa town or city.
15 Refusal to accept knights, say, stifling authority (5,5)
NAY (refusal) containing [to accept] N N (knights – chess), then STATE (say)
17 Break-up of past senior talks down to    sponsors (10)
Anagram [break-up] of PAST SENIOR. I think what we have here is  wordplay followed by two definitions, both verbal.
20 Society  bash: one in a suit? (4)
Another triple definition
21 Press maybe turned to corrupt umpire? (8)
MEDIA (press maybe), then ROT (corrupt) reversed [turned]
23 General road safety margin (6)
LEE (General Robert E), WAY (road)
24 Flip round something which isn’t working (2-2)
NOG (Egg Flip), O (round). Egg flip / nog  is an alcoholic drink made from egg, sugar and brandy or sherry.
25 Camp was one for training astronaut (10)
Anagram [for training] of CAMP WAS ONE
26 Pains to pick up with lots of facial hair? (10)
HEAR (pick up), TACHES (lots of facial hair – more than one tache anyway)
27 Bend the rules (previously following) (4)
F (following), LEX (the rules – Latin for law)
2 Awaiting attention gone noon and especially at night? (2,4,5)
Anagram [gone] of NOON, then ESP (especially), LATE (at night)
3 Period: indication of pause to hear one hoping for net profit? (9)
DOT (period – full stop), then COMMER sounds like [to hear] “comma” [indication of pause]. A person who carries out business on the internet.
4 Poetic shepherd, gracious fellow, embracing Yankee (7)
COR (gracious!) + DON (fellow) containing [embracing] Y (Yankee – NATO)
5 Whispered about interrupting very young child’s washing (5,4,6)
RE (about) contained by [interrupting] UNDER-ONE’S BATH (very young child’s washing). I would have thought this very inventive if I hadn’t just seen a similar device in a weekend puzzle still under wraps!
6 Used a yacht on vacation for fling? Wed after it! (7)
Anagram [for fling] of USED A Y{ach}T [on vacation]
7 Guest argues periodically for enjoyment (5)
{g}U{e}S{t} A{r}G{u}E{s} [periodically]. ‘Facilities are provided for the enjoyment / usage of all’. Does this example work?
8 Close to indistinguishable, however, with singular distinctive character (5)
{indistinguishabl}E (close), THO‘ (however), S (singular)
13 Posed problem, knowing Japanese pottery (7,4)
SAT (posed), SUM (problem), AWARE (knowing). I didn’t know this one.
16 Put out, as items that are completed may be (6,3)
A main definition in the sense of ‘annoyed’ or ‘displeased’ followed by a cryptic hint referring to a list of jobs to be done etc
18 Girl in Dickens lifted by chap out of case (7)
SATAN (Dickens – the Devil – What the dickens does he want?) reversed [lifted], {c}HA{p} [out of case]
19 Note, most poetry is crackers! (7)
SOL (musical note), VERS{e} (poetry) [most]
21 May, perhaps, initially meet on Thursday? (5)
M{eet} [initially], ON, TH (Thursday)
22 Belief one’s all-powerful overturned! (5)
AM GOD (one’s all-powerful) reversed [overturned]

73 comments on “Times Cryptic 28574”

  1. 9:35 – definitions out the wazoo! I rather liked this one. DOTCOMMER and PATRONISES very clever.

  2. DNF
    I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how NATASHA could work, after finally eliminating NELL & ESTELLA and Dickens; never saw the reversed SATAN. And I never saw the anagram of SPACEWOMAN. Bad show. Had no idea about Cheltenham, and biffed SPAM. DNK flip=NOG, and biffed there, too. An MER at USAGE. I thought the only Japanese pottery I knew was Imari, but ‘problem’ prompted recall of SATSUMA. And I could only think of Lycidas for the shepherd and bunged it in, but soon enough bunged it back out again. I liked UNDER ONES BREATH.

    1. ‘Enjoyment’ is an English legal term. As a tenant you have a right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property, which doesn’t confer a statutory right to a good time. It just means you are entitled to use it without interference from the landlord.

  3. Hmmm… beaten by ignorance. First guess was CORYMAN, but SECOND gave me a D and of course DAN is a chap so no change necessary. Then I SET the SUM, had SETSUMA WARE.
    Not a happy little vegemite.
    Otherwise very tricky and enjoyable. The plethora of triples made it tough, never expecting them.

  4. I liked this a whole lot. And I was glad to have plenty of time for it!
    As luck would have it, I came across the “transfer” meaning of SECOND last week in an article I edited.
    SATSUMA WARE was worked out strictly from the wordplay, though the word looks familiar, and CORYDON rang a distant bell.
    Couldn’t parse NO-GO, merci beaucoup.

  5. 48 minutes. Like Kevin and Guy, didn’t know a ‘Flip’ and NOG were the same thing, so couldn’t parse NO-GO. Had forgotten the ‘Poetic shepherd’ and was glad to see the ‘fellow’ was the more likely DON rather than “Dan”. No trouble with SATSUMA WARE; often sniffily dismissed in antiques programs as “export ware” even though it’s so intricate and beautiful. Finally seeing the relevant sense of ‘net’ for DOTCOMMER rescued me at the end from what was looking like a DNF.

    Favourites were the triple def trio.

    Thanks to Jack and setter

  6. Very nice. Probably could have used a day off for this one as well.

    Well done setter. And thanks Jack, especially for the second SECOND def.

  7. DNF in 30 minutes. Very clever crossword. Didn’t bother to guess between DON, DEN or DAN so CORYDON left blank.
    Never saw NATASHA which is a low point in my 40 years of solving as I am married to one.

  8. Very entertaining, but sadly another failure for me, as I guessed DAN for the random man rather than DON.

      1. In this case: probably yes, perhaps no. Gothick is correct, a fellow can also be a random man.

      2. Nothing in the clue indicates that he’s a fellow of a college though so fellow could just be taken to mean a random man.

        1. That’s true, but when faced with ‘fellow’ and D_N, if in doubt it’s generally a good idea to go with DON. It at least entitles you to be justifiably outraged if it’s not right!

          1. My first thought on considering Don was whether the puzzle might be one that he set.

  9. 13:34. Very clever stuff. NHO SATSUMA WARE and I had forgotten CORYDON. I must have come across him before because I did The Faerie Queen at university and also spent more time than I care to remember thinking and talking about eclogues.

    1. Thanks for reminding me how I knew CORYDON. I am rather fond of Purcell’s setting of The Faerie Queen and I was wondering where I had seen the name before.

  10. Threw in the towel after 30′, with NW undone. FOLD good in retrospect. Would never have got CORYDON. Couldn’t get beyond fishing for net profit.

    Thanks jack and setter.

  11. 46 minutes with LOI a constructed CORYDON, of whom my ignorance is total. I was slowed down by having DRAWBRIDGE initially, which does more or less work. NATASHA was a total biff, wondering what Dickens had to do with Tolstoy. COD to COURTHOUSE. An enjoyable challenge. Thank you Jack and setter

  12. DNF (again) This is starting to get me down. Either the setters are getting trickier or I’m losing my marbles!

    Really stuck in the NW. Could not see FOLD had no idea about DOTCOMMER and CORYDON unheard of. Oh well.

    I did like SOLVERS and NATASHA which I did manage to work out.

    Thanks Jack for the explanations and crafty setter.

    1. I wouldn’t get too down. This was a particularly poor crossword with a few things that don’t work.

  13. And silent was the flock in woolly fold
    Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
    His rosary, …

    DNF after 35 mins mid-brekker. Not my cup of tea – but I liked SpaM.
    Ta setter and J.

  14. 50:48. Tricky but satisfying to puzzle out the NHO CORYDON and SATSUMA WARE. Not helped by having FLAW instead of FLEX for a while. Couldn’t parse SPAM and NO-GO but hopefully I can dredge up “flip” at a later date. Three triple definitions and the unfamiliar wordplay + double definition – what a time to be alive.

    Thanks setter and jack.

  15. DNF. Lots of biffs that worked (some parses I’d never have worked out) but in the end could not get dotcommer; nice clue but I went down the track of “net” alluding to fishing… thanks setter and blogger.

  16. 27.57. Once again, not my cup of tea. Some of the definitions were too loose for me: I got the answers but thought ‘really ?’. Thankfully, the Grauniad is good today.

  17. Another good one, we are being spoiled this week.
    I am sure you are right Jackkt, and 1ac is indeed a triple definition; but when solving I saw it as a gambling term .. double or fold.. anyway it worked for me 🙂
    I think of no go only in terms of no go areas, and would not apply it to “something which isn’t working” unless I was into pidgin English.

  18. 22:06, with quite a lot of thought required, obviously, not least for the various multiple definitions, one of which (FOLD) was my last in by some margin.

  19. I found this pretty difficult and put in several without parsing them at the time, indeed in some cases only seeing their true glory when coming here. Lots of very good clues, although I’m afraid I gave up and used electronic aids for the last few, which I regretted afterwards because the clues were so nice and it would have been a pleasure to work them out. As has been said before, the reason why we do The Times crossword. 1ac seems to me to work perfectly well as a double definition based on something in cards — I suspected bridge but perhaps not: I don’t play it and have only a vague idea. 55 minutes even with all that help.

  20. DNF. I worked out that there was a double and triple definition thing going on. But it didn’t help me out. Firstly, I failed to identify the meaning of fail. Secondly, I failed to identify the second meaning of second. So I failed to finish.

    COD: SPAM.

  21. 43 mins, but had to resort to aids for ON ONE’S PLATE, which I just couldn’t see. Much harder on the left than the RHS. I knew TUESDAY was right, but wasn’t aware that yacht can be abbreviated to ‘yt’, so the parsing eluded me. Luckily both SATSUMA WARE and CORYDON rang distant bells.

    1. ‘Yt’ isn’t an abbreviation of ‘yacht’ as far as I’m aware, the YT in the answer comes from Y{ach}T [on vacation] i.e. emptied out, and ‘for fling’ indicates the reversal.

  22. 33:09. All very clever, with the relatively straightforward triple def at 1ac being first in and last out for some reason. Randomly changed CORYDAN to CORYDON at the last minute, so a moment of undeserved smugness.

  23. Failed to solve a single Across clue on the first pass, and if I hadn’t broken things up with half a dozen Down solutions I’d probably not have bothered to continue. More like torture than enjoyment I’m afraid.

    My LOI only got corrected from “no-no” when the penny finally dropped with DOGMA – a clue I should have rattled off much earlier !

    TIME 15:09

  24. DNF, just couldn’t be bothered with 1a when it was alone. I now see it was clever, and wasted on me.
    Slightly delayed by biffing TWEEDLEDEE for 9a FOOTBRIDGE, but it failed quickly. I have read Alice, and forgotten most of it, but hadn’t a clue why T-DEE was involved in a walkover.
    As others never got the second def of SECOND.
    Failed to parse NOG in NOGO. 🙁

  25. A toughie indeed! I got under way with SECOND and the far NE corner, which brought a biffed COURTHOUSE and then CORYDON via wordplay. Got well bogged down after that, but eventually emerged from the morass to drag LOI, FOLD, from an alphabet trawl. 44:00. Thanks setter and Jack.

  26. I have to admit I’ve never really got on with triple definitions, and three in one puzzle seems two too many.
    6d 19dn 16dn (well, this one was anyway).

  27. Two goes needed, but I got there eventually.

    Managed to avoid the Dan trap in CORYDON, figured out the unknown SATSUMA WARE from the wordplay, didn’t know nog=flip in NO-GO, resisted the temptation to put ‘moustaches’ at 26a before getting HEARTACHES, and didn’t see the partial anagram in ON ONES PLATE. Like one or two others, for 3d I spent a while thinking of the fishing sense of net before DOTCOMMER sprang to mind.

    Tough but enjoyable stuff – thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Each
    LOI On ones plate
    COD Spam

  28. DNF after 40 minutes with 1a and 3d unsolved. As I had TOLLBRIDGE for 9a I didn’t have a hope of getting 3d, a word Ive never come across.

    I didn’t much care for the clues. As has been observed above, some rather loose definitions, and some of the cryptic stuff suffered from excess verbiage or loose construction.

    1. Yes, and a few of the surfaces made no sense at all. 17a, 24a, 26a. 3d and 18d. A sure sign that the setter is forcing it a bit.

  29. DNF, but liked the triples.

    I keep reading the NHO CORYDON as the much more common (to me) Croydon.

  30. 28:15

    Compared with yesterday when I was miles off the wavelength, I was right on it today, with some seemingly well-educated biffs. Having said that, there was plenty I missed/didn’t know:

    FOLD – saw only the third def
    COURTHOUSE – from definition – completely failed to spot the parsing
    NO-GO – didn’t know that NOG meant (egg)-flip
    FLEX – had FLAW initially until 13a was solved. Didn’t know LEX is Latin for law, but FLEX seemed like a reasonable guess for bend with checkers F_E_
    NATASHA – saw SATAN in reverse but didn’t get at the time what this had to do with Dickens
    UNDER ONE’S BREATH – from def only

    On the plus side:
    – second definition of SECOND remembered from short civil service career
    – DOTCOMMER jumped out easily
    – CORYDON – NHO, but top guessing from just the R and D checkers, inked in more confidently with the insertion of 4a and 15a
    – SATSUMA WARE – a question recently on ‘The Chase’ quiz show reminded me that SATSUMA is in Japan, which fit the checkers that I had at the time

  31. DNF, beaten in the NW corner- in desperation I threw in bitcoiner, which meant FOLD and SPAM were beyond me. Not sure I’d have got FOLD even if I had had the correct last letter!
    Thanks to the setter I think, and of course to the blogger.

  32. I thought that was a really good puzzle. Strictly I DNF as I had SETSUMA (posed / set a question) but except for this I did it in 39 minutes which I feel quite pleased with!
    Lots of really clever cluing, COD for me 1ac.
    Thanks very much to todays setter, I think more like that will help me raise my game.

  33. We have a Times crossword club here in Cheltenham on the second Tuesday of every month at a restaurant called the Old Courthouse. About 10 of us meet to solve the crossword. Sometimes, Richard the crossword editor comes along to help out, and he set today’s puzzle.
    Some of the answers in today’s puzzle are OLD COURTHOUSE SECOND TUESDAY EACH MONTH SOLVERS CLUB.
    In other words, we had our very own personalised crossword today!! Thank you Richard – greatly appreciated and most amusing.

    1. Hi Mooshy

      It was great to see a large turnout today.

      Everyone was most generous and appreciative! Rather more than was deserved perhaps but that’s par for the course at the Old Courthouse

      And just to add: it was so satisfying to hear the youngest solver decry the Guardian puzzles for sometimes “not following all the rules”
      No harm to the Guardian crossword of course, which is great, but nevertheless!!!


      1. Well The Times doesn’t always follow the rules either, but doesn’t seem to attract the same flak.

          1. We had a Times rule break in Monday’s QC with reference to Mary Quant who is still alive.

    2. Top story!
      28.30 for me. Like JerryW. I thought fold was a betting term for somebody who didn’t double the bet. Got lucky with Corydon and not Corydan. Tough but enjoyable.

    3. Excellent NINA. Would never have spotted it though I know the Old Courthouse. I’m in Cheltenham, do you accept interlopers?

          1. Hi Lessa,
            You are most welcome to join in. 10.30 am.
            Hope you get this message if you come back to this thread.

    4. What a great NINA! Will definitely gatecrash a meeting when I am next in Blighty.

  34. Wow, jolly hard today, and doubly impressive seeing our setter’s hidden message, which only those in the know would work out. Thanks for the heads up, Mooshy. After too long a time with a scattering of answers, I called in Mr Ego and between the two of us, we managed to finish all correct, though the last three were all 4-letter ones. LOI FOLD, after staring at the words for far too long. Didn’t know SATSUMA WARE, but it did seem more likely to be that than SETSUMA. I didn’t know the fruit was called after the place, but hoped it was. NO-GO was parsed post-solve, as I saw the nog and realised it was also a flip. CORYDON rang enough of a bell to put in confidently and a few crossers suggested the ‘commer’ bit of 3D which gave me the answer. I had SIGNED OFF rather than TICKED OFF initially, but the clever NANNY STATE, my COD, put paid to that.

  35. Tough, maybe, but eminently fair and thoroughly enjoyable. The triple definitions all took a few looks before becoming apparent, and it’s surprising to find three in one puzzle, but fair enough. It took me ages to come up with ‘dot’ for ‘period’ even though I saw from an early stage that ‘commer’ was needed at 2D, hence DOTCOMMER and FOLD were my antepenult and penult (as Jimmy Young used to say when reading out his recipe ingredients). LOI, satisfyingly, was SOLVERS. All done in 44 mins. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  36. 33 mins, not mentioned above but I’ve NHO ON ONES PLATE. It was my LOI and the cryptic did it for me. This solver does like triple/quadruple definitions. Ok with CORYDON and SATSUMA WARE dragged up from somewhere.

  37. 19:44. I failed to finish in time before going out for the day with the clock stopped on 18:04 and needed another 1:40 to complete my last 3when I got back. I was surprised to find 3 triples. Lots of entertaining clues, some of which took me a while to parse (e.g. NO-GO). I tried in vain to make ESTELLA work for 18D, but the crossers disabused me of that. Nice one. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  38. I thought this was a tremendous puzzle, but did not finish unfortunately.
    However, is there something significant about a triple triple?

  39. 42 minutes and a few complaints (an overdose of triple definitions, and the “ambiguous” wordplay for CORYDON, though fortunately my intuition for the “flavour” of English did lead me to choose that over CORYDAN). But there was also a large number of superb clues, the “under one’s bath”, for example, or “Wed after it!”, or COURTHOUSE, LEEWAY, I could go on and on. Mooshy’s anecdote above about the vocabulary chosen for inclusion and their Tuesday solvers’ meetings was absolutely superb.

  40. All you bullies get out of my way,
    Because I am really ticked off.
    School of Rock.
    Completed that in just under 30, the top left refusing to yield for far too long.

  41. Not on the wavelength compared to yesterday’s puzzle. 1ac, 9ac eluded me, and I didn’t know the shepherd. I liked TUESDAY and NATASHA though.
    Thanks for the blog and the interesting story. I was near Cheltenham today, dropping my son off in Painswick.

  42. A couple of the people I usually agree with didn’t like this, but I thought it was clever everywhere and brilliant in a couple places. Much more tricksy than difficult and wickedly good fun plus a dodgy homonym. My only complaint is not liking Lee in two dimensions – one as a narrow American reference, the other on the moral grounds that he was a traitor. Thanks rr and jackkt

  43. I was defeated by 2d 3d 1a 14a on this so thanks for the explanations. (I’d not got to the website solution before it was removed). Can’t complain about any of the setter’s clues though- fair but tough.

    1. Hi, Simon,

      Not sure what you mean by the solution being removed from the website. Would you care to expand?

  44. Yes, this was more than “a bit tricksy” I thought! Soldiered on, only to find I needed a lot of biffing and not understanding the resultant answer : “failed to double” for example being one definition of ‘fold’ and “under one’s bath” including ‘re’ – very clever. BIFD FLEX ( forgotten Latin for ‘law’), SPAM, NO-GO, DOGMA; and missed the hidden at 10a. Enjoyed the ride, however.

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